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Macaulay in one of his essays says-at-him:
“His figure was striki d commanding: his features high, his eye full of fire. His voice, even when it sunk to a whisper, was heard-to the remotest benches; and when he
strained it to its fullest extent, the sound rose like the swell of an organ of a great cathedral, o." heard through Tobbies and dow aircases to the Court †. of West.#mom. these eminent
advantages with the most assiduous care. His
action is described by a very malignant. Fo server as equal to that of Garrick. His play of countenance was wonderful; he frequently
disconcerted a hostile orator by a single glance
of indignation or scorn"To understand the full power of his oratory, the reader must keep these characteristics always in mind. From the beginning of the reign of George III., Chatham, of course, was almost constantly in the opposition. Afflicted by disease and saddened by disappointment, he was seldom in
Parliament; and sometimes even when there, he was too weak to give adequate expression to
his ardent thoughts. He was “the great Commoner"; and his influence therefore was much *Weakened when in 1767 he went into the House of Lords. But to the last his character was above suspicion, and it was finely said of him that “great as was his oratory, every one felt that the man was infinitely greater than the orator.” Even Franklin said of him : “I have sometimes seen eloquence without wisdom, and often wisdom without eloquence; but in. him I hav ited in ighest degree." His death occurred on the 11th of May, 1778,
in the seventieth year of his age.
ON THE RIGHT OF TAXING AMERICA. HOUSE OF COMMONS, JANUARY 14, 1766.
The famous Stamp Act resorted to as a means of raising a revenue from the American Colonies during the Ministry of Mr. George Grenville, was approved on the 22d of March, 1765. The law was never successfully enforced ; and when, a few months after its passage, the Ministry of Grenville was succeeded by that of Lord Rockingham, it became evident that nothing but a change of policy would restore America to tranquillity. The plan of the Ministry was to repeal the act, but at the same time to assert the right of Parliament to tax the Colonies. Against this position, Pitt (for he had not yet become Lord Chatham) determined to take a stand. The following speech, made on the occasion, is a good specimen of his earlier oratory, though in parts it was evidently much abridged in the process of reproduction. It was reported by Sir Robert Dean, assisted by Lord Charlemont, and the version here given is supposed to be more nearly as the speech was spoken than is the report of any of the other of his speeches, except that on an “Address to the Throne,” given hereafter.
MR. SPEAKER : I came to town but to-day. I was a stranger to the tenor of his Majesty's speech, and the proposed address, till I heard them read in this House. Unconnected and unconsulted, I have not the means of information. I am fearful of offending through mistake, and therefore beg to be indulged with a second reading of the proposed address. [The address being read, Mr. Pitt went on :] I commend the King's speech, and approve of the address in answer, as it decides nothing, every gentleman being left at perfect liberty to take such a part concerning America as he may afterward see fit. ()ne word only I cannot approve of: an “early,” is a word that does not belong to the notice the ministry have given to Parliament of the troubles in America. In a matter of such importance, the communication ought to have been immediate / I speak not now with respect to parties. I stand up in this place single and independent. As to the late ministry [turning himself to Mr. Grenville, who sat within one of him], every capital measure they have taken has been entirely wrong ! As to the present gentlemen, to those at least whom I have in my eye [looking at the bench where General Conway sat with the lords of the treasury], I have no objection. I have never been made a sacrifice by any of them. Their characters are fair; and I am always glad when men of fair character engage in his Majesty's service. Some of them did me the honor to ask my opinion before they would engage. These will now do me the justice to own, I advised them to do it—but, notwithstanding [for I love to be explicit], I cannot give them my confidence. Pardon me, gentlemen [bowing to the ministry], confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom. Youth is the season of credulity. By comparing events with each other, reasoning from effects to causes, methinks I plainly discover the traces of an overruling influence.”" There is a clause in the Act of Settlement obliging every minister to sign his name to the advice which he gives to his sovereign. Would it were observed I have had the honor to serve the Crown, and if I could have submitted to influence, I might have still continued to serve: but I would not be responsible for others. I have no local attachments. It is indifferent to me whether a man was rocked in his cradle on this side or that side of the Tweed. I sought for merit wherever it was to be found. It is my boast, that I was the first minister who looked for it, and found it, in the mountains of the North. I called it forth, and